Monday Open Thread

Showtime's Homeland is back in its element. After a shaky start this season, it slowly got back on track, and the last two episodes were Homeland at it's best.

Separated at birth: One of the two guys above is Saddam Jamal, a terrorist in real life, now with ISIS, and the other, Numan Acar, plays one on Homeland. I think they look a lot alike. If you haven't been watching Homeland, which one do you think is the real terrorist?

In the news department, the court administrator of the St. Louis Circuit County Court has issued a statement contradicting news reports that the Judge has agreed to consider releasing the Wilson/Brown grand jury records if no Indictment is returned. She hasn't even considered it. The letter is here.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    Chuck Hagel stepping down as SecDef. (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Anne on Mon Nov 24, 2014 at 08:20:19 AM EST
    Just came across the news feed...

    Mutual agreement to resign, per (none / 0) (#7)
    by Anne on Mon Nov 24, 2014 at 08:34:15 AM EST
    the NYT, here:

    The president, who is expected to announce Mr. Hagel's resignation in a Rose Garden appearance on Monday, made the decision to ask his defense secretary -- the sole Republican on his national security team -- to step down last Friday after a series of meetings over the past two weeks, senior administration officials said.

    The officials described Mr. Obama's decision to remove Mr. Hagel, 68, as a recognition that the threat from the Islamic State would require a different kind of skills than those that Mr. Hagel was brought on to employ. A Republican with military experience who was skeptical about the Iraq war, Mr. Hagel came in to manage the Afghanistan combat withdrawal and the shrinking Pentagon budget in the era of budget sequestration.

    But now "the next couple of years will demand a different kind of focus," one administration official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. He insisted that Mr. Hagel was not fired, saying that he initiated discussions about his future two weeks ago with the president, and that the two men mutually agreed that it was time for him to leave.


    Even before the announcement of Mr. Hagel's removal, Obama officials were speculating on his possible replacement. At the top of the list are Michèle Flournoy, the former under secretary of defense; Senator Jack Reed, Democrat of Rhode Island and a former officer with the Army's 82nd Airborne; and Ashton B. Carter, a former deputy secretary of defense.

    Not sure I want to consider what direction we're heading.


    Going South... (none / 0) (#8)
    by lentinel on Mon Nov 24, 2014 at 09:05:20 AM EST
    The officials described Mr. Obama's decision to remove Mr. Hagel, 68, as a recognition that the threat from the Islamic State would require a different kind of skills than those that Mr. Hagel was brought on to employ.

    Translation: Hagel was against US involvement in Iraq back then, and he is probably scratching his head at what Obama is doing now.

    Digging deeper and deeper into Iraq and Afghanistan.

    What was that meme about hope and change?

    No hope.
    And change for the worse.


    Just what we need... (none / 0) (#1)
    by lentinel on Mon Nov 24, 2014 at 06:59:12 AM EST
    Corruption Hobbles Iraq's Military in Fighting ISIS
    A pattern of graft in the Iraqi government forces threatens to undermine a new American-led effort to drive out the extremists, even as President Obama is doubling the number of American troops in Iraq.

    We get all this @ only $300,000 an hour.

    A rare bargain.

    Hope someone tells me which one is the (none / 0) (#2)
    by oculus on Mon Nov 24, 2014 at 07:28:45 AM EST
    terrorist. I vote for the man on the left.

    The guy on the right is in a (none / 0) (#3)
    by oculus on Mon Nov 24, 2014 at 08:04:29 AM EST
    Geico ad preceding the video of Beckham Jr.'s catch.

    McCulloch made this (none / 0) (#4)
    by MO Blue on Mon Nov 24, 2014 at 08:13:33 AM EST
    statement during an interview with the Washington Post.

    McCulloch: "Everything that the grand jury hears -- all the testimony and all the physical evidence -- will be released to the public if there is no indictment. People will be able to see everything regardless of what happens."  Link

    It appears that when he made these very definite, all encompassing promises, he lacked the one element that would actually allow him to deliver on his promise, the Judge's agreement.

    This latest development just adds more fuel to belief that McCulloch is not to be trusted in connection with the Brown GJ.

    This isn't going to help matters: (none / 0) (#6)
    by Anne on Mon Nov 24, 2014 at 08:29:14 AM EST
    Cleveland police shoot and kill 12-yr old with BB-gun:

    On Saturday afternoon, 12-year-old Tamir Rice was sitting on a swing outside a recreation center in Cleveland, wearing a camouflage hat and hiding a BB gun in his waistband.

    The boy was playing with the gun on the playground at Cudell Recreation Center, pulling it from his pants and pointing it at people, a man told a 911 dispatcher. The toy's orange safety tip had apparently been removed, and the caller said the boy was "scaring the s-- out of everyone." He also noted that the boy was "probably a juvenile" and that the gun was "probably fake," but that message was reportedly never relayed to police.

    When two Cleveland police officers arrived at the scene, a rookie officer saw the boy beneath a gazebo, picking up the gun and tucking it into his waistband. Police said the officer ordered him to raise his hands, but he raised his shirt instead -- reaching for the gun. The officer fired twice. One shot hit the boy in the stomach.


    Tamir had been playing at the park with his sister and a friend when he was confronted by police. He never shouted or verbally threatened the officers. He never pointed the gun at them. But he did reach for it, police said.

    Authorities said the BB gun resembled a semiautomatic handgun. An orange safety marker, intended to identify a toy gun, had been removed, police said. It wasn't until after the weapon was recovered that investigators determined it was a BB gun.